Friday, March 28, 2014

Streaming tip: Jacob Kornbluth and Robert Reich's important doc, INEQUALITY FOR ALL

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor (for the Clinton administration) Robert Reich is a man on a mission: to raise the consciousness of the American people as to the ever-widening and grossly unhealthy economic gap between the uber-rich and everyone else. Anyone who follows the news these days can hardly be unaware of all the talk about this gap. Yet what is actually consists of, how it happened and why it is so damned important seems to elude far too many of our populace, including many voters, who might -- if they understood things properly -- "throw the bums out."

With the help of filmmaker Jacob Kornbluth (shown at left), Mr. Reich, whose generally fine and important writing and ideas appear regularly as part of the Reader Supported News service, has now given us a very good documentary, INEQUALITY FOR ALL, which first appeared last year at various film festivals and also had a limited theatrical release via TWC/Radius last fall. Because the film is now available via Netflix streaming, there's no reason to miss it -- even if you think you already know everything the movie is going to say.

You may indeed know much of what you'll hear, but I think you'll find the presentation bracing enough to keep you interested, angry and eager to do something about this increasing and unhealthy inequality.

Mr Reich -- a short little man (see his photo with his director, at right) who is happy to explain what his small stature is called in medical circles -- is also a teacher and has been for years. From what we see and hear here, he's a very good one and a popular one, too.

The movie is made up of some of his in-class teaching, interviews with various Americans, charts (below), animation, statistics and archival materials (further below) -- all wrapped around the idea of what the increasing inequality is doing to the middle class and the poor.

America was not always like this, and Reich takes us back to the relatively golden, post WWII years up into the 1970s, when Ronald Reagan and the Republicans put a stop to middle class gains, unions and other things that helped make America a working democracy. Stagnant wages for the employed are every bit as important as obscene earnings, and Reich shows how all this came about, too.

The movie is important and although it's now two years old, it's unfortunately all too current, still. So, take a look, get on board and see what you can do about bringing things back to some kind of fairness, when owners made -- sure -- ten, even twenty, times what their employees earned. But not one hundred times -- or more.

Inequality for All, running 89 minutes, is available now via Netflix streaming, Amazon Instant Video, or on DVD.

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